World's Biggest Comic launched | PHOTOS

A unique art project that is likely the first of its kind was launched in Whyalla on Thursday (R U OK? Day), with locals packing the Old Library on Patterson Street to see the artwork provided for the World's Biggest Comic.

The comic is an initiative of the Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network, supported by major funding from Country SA PHN as part of the National Suicide Prevention Trial Suicide Prevention Small Grants Program.

A total of 30 local artists contributed to the 15-part, large scale, visual narrative which tells a compelling original story across key locations in Whyalla, including landmarks, shopping centres, museums and mental health service providers.

Speaking at the launch of the World's Biggest Comic, Coordinator Richard Parker said the initiative was aimed at promoting mental health and wellbeing in the community.

"We're all trying to make a difference in our community and support people with mental health issues," he said.

"Based on the research I've done I don't think there's anything like this anywhere else, at 600 square metres we believe this really is the World's Biggest Comic."

The project was inspired by Mr Parker's love for comics, which began when his brother introduced him to the world of comic books at seven-years-old.

"They really captivated me, comics are a super interesting medium that encourage you to use your imagination to fill the gaps in between the panels," he said.

"The other part of the story is my passion for mental health issues because I've had mental health issues myself, I've struggled with depression and anxiety.

"This combines my interest in creativity with community development, it's brought all these things together."

Artist Brittany Anastasia Rudd created a piece of digital artwork that will form part of the World's Biggest Comic, producing the piece entirely on her smartphone.

"This was definitely a big step out of my comfort zone, I'm so honoured to be able to do this and I'm proud of how far I've come," she said.

"It's great how the community has come together for this huge project. It's so beautiful to see everyone's art on display and how it's been integrated into the story."

Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network Chair Kimberley Pursche said research shows that the living the values represented in the comic can have a positive impact on mental and physical health.

"It is our hope that this vibrant artwork will encourage our community to explore these behaviours and ideas and to start conversations around mental health and wellbeing," she said.

"Additionally, following the artwork trail will promote being outdoors and exercising which we know has a positive impact on all aspects of wellbeing."

Members of the public can view the first part of the artwork to be completed at Jenkins Friendly Grocer, Whyalla Recreation Centre and OneStop Foodland, with the remainder of The World's Biggest Comic to be finished in the coming weeks.